20. What is a news story (other than Covid) that surprised you this year?
New revelations from the fossil record show that somewhere between 40 and 55 million years ago, sabre-toothed anchovies swam the ocean, hunting with a mouth full of spiky bottom teeth and one massive, curved fang protruding from the upper jaw. These predator fish were up to a metre long—too large to fit on a pizza. In findings published in The Royal Society in May, scientists used CT scanners to examine fossil samples collected in Belgium and Pakistan in the last century. Though the sabre-toothed anchovy went extinct, the newly identified species shares a number of features with the plankton-feeding fish we know today. The scientific literature doesn’t determine whether the sabre-toothed anchovy would be as polarizing an ingredient on a pizza.
A saber toothed anchovy! Holy macaroni! I have questions…
How do they know it’s an anchovy, ie what characteristics do anchovies have that specifies this huge toothed behemoth is related to those rather pathetic little things that end up in your Caesar salad dressing!?
How did evolution work to make the current anchovy so small?!
What in the heck did it eat?
I wonder, if I leave Phil for long enough, will he develop saber teeth..?